19 September 2014
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Essay writing

Putting together assignments or coursework can be a difficult and complicated undertaking for any undergraduate. For most people good writing doesn't come naturally, it is however a skill that can be learnt.

This page has been written for university students and is intended to be step by step guide to helping them write professional essays. It will do this by giving them practical advice, examples and tips on producing documents that are error free, well structured, argumentative and easy to read.

Right here they’ll find everything they need to know about creating academic papers that are of interest and value to those who read them. They will learn how to produce a original piece of work that will be unique, makes the reader sit up and keeps their interest alive throughout the essay.

Apart from increasing your chances of getting higher grades, getting your essay right is important for a number of other reasons. Firstly a well constructed essay has a greater chance of quickly getting your point of view across. Secondly essays can tell the reader a lot about the person who has written them and go a long way towards demonstrating their communication and language skills. Thirdly they can convey the character of the author and give an insight into their personality, both of which can influence a tutor or examiner.

THIS RESOURCE PAGE WILL SHOW STUDENTS HOW TO

  • Write professional faultless essays.
  • Clearly express their ideas in writing.
  • Make every work count.
  • Avoid common mistakes.
  • Properly format and reference essays.
  • Improve their writing skills.
  • Create an educated argument.
  • Write essays that are easy to comprehend.
  • Properly research information and facts.
  • Avoid lazy and poor writing habits.


CLEAR WRITING IMPLIES CLEAR THINKING
Irrespective of the field of study, essays should aim to make a connection between yourself and the reader. This best way to do this is by producing a document that is easy and understandable for people to read whilst at the same time clearly summarizing in it the central idea you want to get across. Here are some tips to do this:

  • Keep sentences short and to the point.
  • Use plain language and simple words (but not simplistic or patronising words).
  • Keep to the facts.

THE BASIC STAGES OF ESSAY WRITING

Think about and analyse what EXACTLY the lecturer or assignment wants you to do.

Identify the key points that your essay must address.

Decide on the essays outline by starting to formulate the ideas and arguments related to the subject.

Decide on the type of essay format and layout you want to use.

Begin to gather the relevant information and facts.

Start to write the first draft of your essay, including the introduction and conclusion. This version should be aimed at yourself.

At this stage it is advisable to take a break of a few hours.

Start to revise and refine your first essay draft, this time write it for your target audience.

Keep repeating the process of taking a break and revising your essay until you are happy with it.

Finally get a friend to proof read your work and use software (or read it out aloud to yourself) to check for spelling and grammatical mistakes.


WRITING PARAGRAPHS
These are several related sentences written about a particular topic and that are grouped together to form a paragraph, which in turn is part of a larger article. Before you do anything decide on what idea, information or point of view you want to get across in the paragraph. The key to writing good informative paragraphs is to organise and break them down into the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Main body part
  • The ending or conclusion 


THINGS TO CHECK

Make sure the margins are in order and aligned.

Use the correct titles and ensure they are placed in the right locations. 

Make sure the essay reads right, flows like a conversation and that the sentences run smoothly from one to the other. 

Does the essay make sense.

Look for spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes.

Have a friend or another third party proof read it.


TRANSITION WORDS
These are words or phrases that are the glue that ensure paragraphs and sentences continue to be related and remain connected. They can improve the quality of an essay by helping to connect one idea to the next. Below are some examples of transitions words:

  • although
  • because
  • especially
  • finally
  • for instance
  • however
  • in fact
  • therefore
  • similarly
  • therefore
  • throughout


ESSAY WRITING TIPS

Do not leave your essay to the last day before a deadline.

Try to write ‘in your own voice’, as if you are having a conversation with a friend.

Clearly understand the subject matter before you do anything.

Organise your research material.

Read other well written essays on similar subject matters. This will now only give you a feel about how to present your work, but will show you the standards that you have to meet and give you ideas (but do not plagiarise).

Try to make the essay interesting.

Make any arguments and conclusions consistent throughout the essay.

Go over every draft you write and cross out words that you do not need to use.

Try reading your essay out aloud to yourself, this will help to spot any errors you may have made.

Take regular breaks and then reread, refine and rewrite it.

Try to use as few words as possible, for instance don’t use five words when you can use two.

If you want you can up any arguments with quotations from industry professionals, these can give more weight to a particular point of view. 

Be sure to reference any sources you use.

Have a friend proof read your completed work, they may spot mistakes that you have missed.

Finish off your articles with a concluding and authoritative statement or sentence, it is much better than just letting a essay trail off.

Do not use words that you do not know the meaning of.

If you are unsure or in doubt about a argument or particular point of view then always get a second opinion.



Relevant academic links
Creative writing evening classes London
University courses
 
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Graduate internships
Introduction to graduate fasttrack schemes
Revision tips
Student accommodation
Student loan company
Study skills
UCAS personal statement
University interview questions

Student CV links
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User Comments

Mike said:
30/05/2013 I have fully bookmark this whole new concept thought! Essay Blue

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